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    What is an anoxic brain injury

    what is an anoxic brain injury

    Brain Injury Overview

    Anoxic brain injury is a type of brain injury that isn't usually caused by a blow to the head. Instead, anoxic brain injury occurs when the brain is deprived of oxygen. Left without oxygen for too long, neural cells begin to die through a process called apoptosis. The brain requires a constant flow of oxygen to function normally. A hypoxic-anoxic injury, also known as HAI, occurs when that flow is disrupted, essentially starving the brain and preventing it from performing vital biochemical processes. Hypoxic refers to a partial lack of oxygen; anoxic means a total lack. In general, the more complete the.

    The brain requires a constant flow what is an anoxic brain injury oxygen to function normally. A hypoxic-anoxic injury, also known as HAI, occurs when that flow is disrupted, essentially starving the brain and preventing it from performing vital biochemical processes. Hypoxic refers to a partial lack of oxygen; anoxic means how to make photo stickers total lack.

    In general, the more complete the deprivation, the more severe the harm to the brain and the greater the consequences. The diminished oxygen supply can cause serious impairments in cognitive skills, as well as in physical, psychological, and other functions.

    Recovery can occur in many cases, but it depends largely on the parts of the brain affected, and its pace and extent are unpredictable. As a result, HAI can have a catastrophic impact on the lives not only of those injured, but also for their families, friends, and caregivers as well.

    Treatment can be costly and complicated, especially because HAI patients frequently need substantial medical and rehabilitative help and may suffer from significant long-term disabilities. A shortage of easy-to-understand, accessible information about HAI can make the situation even more stressful for affected individuals and their families.

    This fact sheet will help answer your questions about what is a stock rom condition. Why is oxygen important to us? Our bodies require oxygen in order to metabolize glucose. This process provides energy for the cells. Cells of the brain will start to die within a few minutes if they are deprived of oxygen. The result is a cascade of problems. In particular, the disruption of the transmission of electrochemical impulses impacts the production and activity of important substances called neurotransmitterswhich regulate many cognitive, physiological, and emotional processes.

    There are many neurotransmitters, and they perform a wide variety of important functions, although the specific ways neurotransmitters work are not fully understood. Some neurotransmitters, such as serotonindopamine, and norepinephrineplay an important role in regulating moods. Endorphins are critical for controlling pain and enhancing pleasure, while acetylcholine is important for memory functions. A variety of disease processes and injuries can cause HAI.

    The most common is called hypoxicischemic injuryalso known as HII or stagnant anoxia. This occurs when some internal event prevents enough oxygen-rich blood from reaching the brain.

    While strokes and cardiac arrhythmia can both result in HII, the most frequent cause is cardiac arrest. Anesthesia accidents and cardiovascular disease each account for just under a third of cardiac arrests, according to a study.

    Other possible causes are asphyxia, generally caused by suicide attempts or near-drownings 16 percentchest trauma 10 percentelectrocution 6. Occasionally, HAI is caused by anoxic anoxiawhich is when the air itself does not contain enough oxygen to be absorbed and used by the body.

    This can occur at how to transfer pictures onto canvas altitudes, where the air is thinner than at sea level, but is extremely unusual otherwise. Another syndrome, toxic anoxiainvolves the presence in the body of toxins or other substances that may interfere with the way an individual processes oxygen.

    Another occasional cause of HAI is anemic anoxiawhich can occur when someone does not have enough blood or hemoglobin, a chemical in the red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body.

    Acute hemorrhage, chronic anemia, and carbon monoxide poisoning are conditions that can result in anemic anoxia. Acute hemorrhage is essentially massive bleeding, caused, for example, by a gunshot or other wound. Chronic anemia is an ailment in which a person suffers from persistently low levels of red blood cells or hemoglobin. Carbon monoxide poisoningwhich appears to damage parts of the brain controlling movement, occurs in suicide attempts using automobile exhaust, but can also happen due to malfunctioning furnaces and other accidents involving machinery and industrial equipment.

    HAI is generally marked by an initial loss of consciousness or coma, a condition which looks like sleep but from which a person cannot be awakened. The period of unconsciousness, whether short or long, might be followed by a persistent vegetative statein which a person is neither comatose nor responsive to external stimuli.

    Even when a person has fully recovered consciousness, he or she might suffer from a long list of symptoms. In many ways, these symptoms are similar to those commonly seen after a blow to the head. The effects can vary widely depending upon the part of the brain that has been injured and the extent of the damage.

    Some of the major cognitive thought problems are:. Other symptoms can include: hallucinations and delusions; increased agitation and confusion; depression and other mood disorders; personality changes, such as irritability and a reduced threshold for frustration; and an inability to focus or concentrate. Because people with HAI have often suffered extensive damage, complete recovery is not assured. In fact, predicting the outcome of HAI is a bit like estimating how high a rocket will go.

    There are some general factors that are helpful in making initial forecasts, but the actual course of the rocket is also dependent upon real-world conditions and many unforeseeable variables. Studies that have been done suggest that recovery may be more limited than in cases where a person has suffered a traumatic brain injury of comparable severity.

    Nonetheless, there are some clues that can clearly offer a bit of guidance in judging the likelihood of at least a partial recovery. These include:. Many patients come out of a coma but remain in what is called a persistent vegetative statea sort of wakeful unresponsiveness in which some brain functions continue to operate but with no apparent consciousness.

    Some doctors believe that if the persistent vegetative state in a patient with HAI continues for more than three months, there is virtually no chance of further recovery. Unfortunately, direct treatment of anoxia is limited. Recovery can take many months and even years, and in many cases the person never regains his or her prior level of functioning. In general, the sooner rehabilitation starts, the better. During rehabilitation, the individual and family members may interact with a variety of professionals as the need for constant medical attention from a doctor decreases.

    Such professionals may include a physical therapist, who aids in improving motor skills how to cut a perfect circle in plexiglass as walking; an occupational therapist, who assists in retraining the person to perform skills of daily living, such as dressing and going to the bathroom; a speech therapist, who may help address cognitive problems as well as language disorders; and a neuropsychologist, who may assess the level and type of cognitive impairment, collaborate on retraining, and assist both the individual and family members with behavior and emotional issues.

    As recovery may take months and even years, it is important for both the patient and family members involved in rehabilitation efforts to establish a good working relationship with the various specialists. Patients and how to relieve soar throat caregivers, therefore, often experience intense bouts of frustration at what they perceive to be the slow pace of recovery.

    While the process will never be easy, the following tips may help to minimize possible tension and conflict:.

    Family Caregiver Alliance FCA seeks to improve the quality of life for caregivers through education, services, research, and advocacy. Through its National Center on Caregiving, FCA what is an anoxic brain injury information on current social, public policy, and caregiving issues and provides assistance in the development of public and private programs for caregivers.

    Brain Injury Association of America www. Brain Trauma Foundation www. Head Injury Hotline www. National Rehabilitation Information Center www. This fact sheet was prepared by Family Caregiver Alliance and reviewed by neuropsychologist William J. Lynch, Ph. All rights reserved. Skip to main content Skip to sidebar options. Quick Read.

    Read in: English. Share on:. Hypoxic-Anoxic Brain Injury Introduction and Definition The brain requires a constant flow of oxygen to function normally. Causes of Hypoxic-Anoxic Injury Why is oxygen important to us? Symptoms HAI is generally marked by an initial loss of consciousness or coma, a condition which looks like sleep but from which a person cannot be awakened.

    Some of the major cognitive thought problems are: Short-term memory loss. This is the most common cognitive symptom, especially among those who have HII. The reason is that the part of the brain that is believed to be responsible for learning new information, called the hippocampus, has neurons that are highly sensitive to oxygen deprivation. Decline in executive functions. Disruption of such critical tasks as reasoning, making judgments, and synthesizing information.

    This can lead to impulsive behavior, poor decision-making, inability to direct, divide, or switch attention. Difficulty with wordsalso known as anomia. These linguistic problems include not being able to remember the right word, selecting the wrong word, confusing similar words, not understanding commonly used words, and so on.

    Visual disturbances. Difficulty processing visual information can occur in some cases. One rare disorder is called cortical blindness, in which the area of the brain responsible for vision becomes disconnected from the rest of the brain.

    Because the brain cannot tell that this part is damaged, people may appear to act as though they can see even though they display no ability to identify or recognize objects, shapes, or colors.

    Ataxiaor a lack of coordination. This often expresses itself as a sort of bobbing or weaving, similar to what is seen in people who are drunk. Apraxiaor an inability to execute a familiar sequence of physical movements such as brushing teeth, combing hair, using eating utensils, etc.

    Spasticity, rigidity and myoclonusdisorders which can include a tendency toward jerky motions, trembling of the extremities, or other abnormal movements.

    Length of coma. As you might expect, the longer a person is in a coma, the less promising the outcome, although individual cases can vary dramatically from the norm. One study suggested that if a coma lasts less than 12 hours, there is likely to be little long-term damage. Another study indicated that 21 percent of HIA patients who remained in a coma for four weeks or less experienced a good recovery, while the recovery for others was poor. Visual cues. If both eyes have fixed or dilated pupils, the prognosis is generally poor.

    Since this can indicate significant damage to the brain stem, the area of the brain responsible for regulating such basic functions as breathing, the outcome is not promising.

    Neurologists can also conduct tests to measure some standard eye-movement responses to determine what kind of damage has been suffered.

    Some studies suggest that patients younger than 25 have a better rate of recovery than those who are older. Acute brain damage that has occurred in the immediate what is an anoxic brain injury does not typically show up on this type of scan.

    However, imaging tests conducted several months down the line may indicate the atrophy or loss of some brain matter.

    Symptoms of Anoxic and Hypoxic Brain Injuries

    Hypoxic and anoxic brain injury The brain needs a continuous supply of oxygen to survive. If the oxygen supply is interrupted, the functioning of the brain is disturbed immediately and irreversible damage can quickly follow. This is known as hypoxic or anoxic brain injury. The information on this page will be particularly useful for the family. A full recovery from severe anoxic or hypoxic brain injury is rare, but many patients with mild anoxic or hypoxic brain injuries are capable of making a full or partial recovery. Furthermore, symptoms and effects of the injury are dependent on the area(s) of the brain that was affected by the lack of oxygen. Brain injury as a result of oxygen deprivation either due to hypoxic or anoxic mechanisms are generally termed hypoxic/anoxic injuries (HAI). Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is a condition that occurs when the entire brain is deprived of an adequate oxygen supply, but the deprivation is not total.

    Improving life after brain injury Need to talk? The Headway Brain Injury Identity Card is designed to help police officers and staff more easily identify brain injury survivors and ensure that they receive an appropriate response and support. The card can also provide brain injury survivors with added confidence in everyday social scenarios. Each card is personalised, helping the card holder to explain the effects of their brain injury and request any support they may need.

    A passport style photo of yourself, ready to upload to the form. Please ensure:. Verification of your brain injury Ч this could be a letter from a Headway local group or branch or from a clinical professional confirming the brain injury.

    Please note: due to high numbers of applications received, it may take between 4 to 6 weeks to process your application and send out your ID card if we have all the information we require. If you do not provide clinical verification of your brain injury in your initial application the process can take considerably longer.

    Click the button below to begin your application. Alternatively, you can download an application form DOC to print, complete and send back to us. The card is available to anyone in the UK aged 18 and over who has a verifiable brain injury. The complexities of brain injury can make it difficult for people to ask for support.

    Carrying an official Headway Brain Injury Identity Card can provide you with the confidence to know that if you need help, your needs can be easily identified, whether in social situations, or if you come into contact with police officers or other emergency services. A similar card for children and young people is provided by the Child Brain Injury Trust. The card can be used in many different everyday social scenarios to help you access any support you may need.

    Clinical verification of brain injury and a photo are required, as well as some information about how your brain injury affects you. Dominic Hurley was arrested three times for being drunk and disorderly but in each case he was simply showing symptoms of his brain injury.

    Dominic now benefits from a Headway Brain Injury Identity Card to help avoid misunderstanding and raise awareness of his condition. From local groups or branches, our Emergency Fund, Brain Injury Identity Card, helpline and much more, find out how Headway can support you after brain injury.

    Like many people with brain injuries, Tom Birch walks with a slight stagger and has impaired speech. Often it gives the impression he is drunk, and this has led to unfair treatment. Phil often feels under pressure to prove he has disabilities to others and explain the effects or symptoms of his brain injury Ч which include balance problems, chronic fatigue and cognitive issues.

    Nell's brain injury has left her with a number of problems that affect her memory, sight and balance problems. She also suffers from bouts of severe fatigue. She said the card has provided her with a boost in confidence, especially tackling those everyday tasks that people often take for granted.

    On 10 April, , Jamie was driving home from the shops in heavy rain and lost control of his car. He sustained a cut to his head and was found at the scene confused and disorientated. Police mistakenly believed Jamie Gailer was driving under the influence of alcohol and arrested him. A brain tumour left Callum with a number of problems such as impaired balance, affected temperament and limited mobility.

    These symptoms have brought many challenges, including dealing with the often inappropriate ways people react to his disabilities. Case studies should not be reproduced without the express permission of Headway - the brain injury association.

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